What Jesus Did! 'Reactions to the Cross' — Luke 23:47-49

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The army officer there saw what happened. He praised God, saying, "I know this man was a good man!" Many people had come out of the city to see this thing. When the people saw it, they felt very sorry and left. The people who were close friends of Jesus were there. Also, there were some women that had followed Jesus from Galilee. They all stood far away from the cross and watched these things.
— Luke 23:47-49 NLT
Illustration of Luke 23:47-49 NLT — "I know this man was a good man!"

Key Thought

What happens in your heart when you think of Jesus on the Cross? The seasoned Roman officer handling the execution praised God and knew Jesus was not guilty of any crime. The crowd went home with deep sorrow. Jesus' friends watched from a distance. Which one best describes your reaction? Why? Don't you find it amazing that probably the least preferable reaction, the least exemplary, was the reaction of Jesus' friends. Let's not just be observers of the Cross, but people who are deeply sorrowed by ours sins that took Jesus to the Cross. However, in our sorrow, let's make sure we don't let grief consume us. Instead, let's praise God for his grace and the salvation he has provided for us. Then, rather than going into hiding like the fearful friends of Jesus, let's go share the grace with others.

Today's Prayer

Holy and Almighty God, it breaks my heart that Jesus had to die as a sacrifice for sin ... especially my sin. However, I praise you for your plan of grace, for your desire to provide mercy at the expense of your own heartbreak, and for your overwhelming love for people like me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Romans 4:24-25
  • Romans 5:6-11
  • 1 Corinthians 1:20-25


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.